Thursday 10 December 2020 7:36 pm

Stunning Airbnb market debut drives valuation past $100bn in biggest IPO open of 2020

Shares of Airbnb soared in its stock market debut today, valuing the firm at $101.6bn and marking the biggest US floatation of 2020.

Shares open at $146 on the Nasdaq, far above the initial public offering (IPO) price of $68 apiece. The stock then hit a high of $165, rising 142.6 per cent after the debut. 

It has been a tricky year for Airbnb, having seen its revenues fall sharply from the levels seen in 2018 and 2019, with the likely prospect that they could take some time to bounce back, even with all of the recent optimism over a Covid-19 vaccine.

In 2019 Airbnb saw revenues of $4.8bn, while this year the company is unlikely to make anywhere near close to that.

Nevertheless today’s IPO highlights a stunning recovery for the home rental business. Founded in 2008 as a website to take bookings for rooms during conferences, Airbnb was valued at just $18bn in a private fundraising round in April and $31bn in its last pre-Covid-19 private fundraising in 2017.

At $146 per share, Airbnb had a market capitalisation of about $87.2bn, compared with Booking Holdings’ $86.3bn and Marriott International’s $42.3bn.

Wall Street

Wall Street’s main indexes fell at the open on Thursday as a jump in weekly jobless claims suggested a stalling recovery in the labor market, while negotiations over fresh economic stimulus dragged on.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 114.73 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 39,954.08 at the opening bell.

The S&P 500 fell 19.11 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 3,653.71, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 98.80 points, or 0.80 per cent, to 12,240.15.